Mimi's brings luxe Mediterranean vibes to Coogee Pavilion

Mimi's restaurant looks through coastal pines to the ocean.
Mimi's restaurant looks through coastal pines to the ocean. Photo: Steven Woodburn

It's only January, but Justin Hemmes' new venue has already set an impossibly high bar for 2020's new restaurant contenders.

Mimi's, which has opened on the middle level at Coogee Pavilion, is layered in luxe.

There's a squadron of marble-topped kitchen benches that push deep into the dining room Fred's-style

Mimi's opens at Coogee Pavilion (Merivale)
Chef Jordan Toft
Pix: Steve Woodburn
Mimi's opens at Coogee Pavilion (Merivale) Chef Jordan Toft Pix: Steve Woodburn Photo: Steve Woodburn

Throw in sleek European cooking equipment and a wine room that looks like a shrine to Bacchus.

"We love a sense of occasion but without the pretentiousness," says Mimi's executive chef Jordan Toft.

That doesn't stop Toft encouraging diners to start a meal with a hit of caviar. The chef also likes to talk about the "generosity of space" at Mimi's.

Chef Jordan Toft's opening menu includes suckling pig.
Chef Jordan Toft's opening menu includes suckling pig.  Photo: Steve Woodburn

Indeed, they've unearthed hidden art deco elements and curves the Merivale team, design firm ACME and stylist Amanda Talbot have successfully highlighted and added to.

There's so much eye candy already on display they chose to hide away the tanks of live seafood and impressive charcuterie section. The opening menu will also include suckling pig – which is paired with a finger lime salsa.

The restaurant, which takes its name from Justin's mother, Merivale Hemmes (Mimi to her family), looks through coastal pines to the ocean.

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Next door is a cocktail bar, Will's – a nod to the given name of the late Merivale patriarch, John, not the prince.

There's also a tapas bar, Una Mas, where Toft romantically pictures a customer fresh from the beach slipping into a linen shirt and some slides to duck in and grab a glass and a bite.

On a busy summer day Coogee Pav can serve 2500 plates of food and 1000 pizzas on its ground floor. The new mid-level restaurant and tapas bar will surely put it in rarefied air as one of Sydney's biggest food venues.

Mimi's has a squadron of marble-topped kitchen benches.
Mimi's has a squadron of marble-topped kitchen benches. Photo: Steve Woodburn

Mimi's Mon-Thu noon-3pm and 6.30-10pm; Fri-Sun noon-3.30pm and 6.30-10pm, merivale.com/venues/mimis/

Will's Sun-Thu noon-midnight; Fri-Sat noon-2am, merivale.com/venues/wills/

Una Mas Sun-Thu noon-midnight; Fri-Sat noon-2am merivale.com/venues/una-mas/

Middle level, Coogee Pavilion, 130a Beach Street, Coogee